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16 December Advocate

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December 2016
A taxing election
Nickel taxes were decided in the November general elections, along with school board races. The outcome produced more than 100 new school board members but only one new nickel tax.

PEAK academic support
It’s a phrase you hear a lot: Students involved in academic extracurriculars should get the same attention as student-athletes. The Johnson County school board gave attention – and funding – to district academic teams, and that support has won a PEAK Award.

Grappling with the gap
How did tiny Robertson County Elementary School see its non-duplicated gap score jump by more than 30 points over last year? One answer can be found in a small, cramped office dubbed “the war room” in the single-school system.
Campbellsville Elementary has made progress closing its achievement gap by giving students more reading and math, but not in a stand-alone way.
The middle grades at Perry County’s Viper Elementary have seen their gap scores increase with the advent of some new instructional strategies, and a better use of time.

Incoming innovators
The state education department quietly approved a new crop of Districts of Innovation this year, following a fallow stretch last year. The three new districts are implementing changes that have in common a focus on personalized learning.
The Districts of Innovation program thus far has not been a silver bullet, according to the state education department. The earliest districts approved have seen some positives and some neutrals.

New face, familiar territory
KSBA’s new Governmental Relations director is no stranger to the Capitol – or its annex. He comes to the association from the Legislative Research Commission, where he drafted bills and was a legal/fiscal analyst.
Indoor/outdoor skills building at Martin County ATC
When Martin County officials were forced by structural issues to relocate students and staff from Sheldon Clark High School to the district’s middle school, one huge impact was classroom space. To help create an optional learning space until a new high school opens, dozens of students at the district’s area technology center are building a pair of gazebos that will become outdoor classrooms.
Executive Insights

Take Note

People Are Talking

Ed Innovators

Robertson County Elementary School fourth-graders Rachel Unthank, Katilyn Miller, Chloe Northcutt and Xander Smith work on cutting out “robot hands.” The school made one of the biggest gains in the state in closing the achievement gap (non-duplicated gap score) in 2015-16 K-PREP results. The efforts of that school and two others are profiled here.
Executive Director
Mike Armstrong

Member Support/ Communications Services Director
Brad Hughes

Advocate Editor
Madelynn Coldiron

Publications Coordinator
Matt McCarty
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